Robert Agnew's Strain Theory In Scarace

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In the movie Scarface we view go in depth about some life events of Cuban refugee Tony Montana when he enters the United States and receives his green card. We also see what leads him to his criminal activities of becoming a national drug lord. In this film there are a number of different theories that can be applied. I will be using Cornish and Clarkes Rational Choice Theory, along with Robert Agnew’s Strain theory in order to analyze Tony’s reasoning behind committing these crimes. I will be using examples from the film Scarface in order to draw and link these theories with the film.

The first theory I will be explaining is Rational Choice Theory. Cornish and Clarke argue that “offenders are rational people who seek to maximize their pleasure and minimize their pain.” (Cullen, 2015 pg. 438) …show more content…

Rational choice theory also stipulates that all complex social phenomena are driven by individual human actions. It focuses on the choice to engage in crime. We must keep in mind bounded rationality in order to understand Rationality is constrained by the limits of time and ability and the availability of relevant information (Cullen, 2014 pg 439). You can easily link Rational Choice theory to the film Scarface. In this film Tony Montana (Al Pacino) calculates the pleasure and benefits he can obtain if he becomes a cocaine distributer. He knows it is illegal and the consequences he could face if he gets caught but continues to do it. Tony does not stop dealing cocaine because he is pleasured by the feeling of power and money. He chooses to be a criminal so he can achieve his goals of success and he feels this is the only way to do so. Another example we can use from the film that draws from the RationalChoice theory is when Tony kills the Cuban government

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